...If you want people to change course, you have to create an “exit ramp” for them. This entails creating the space and safety they need to acknowledge and pursue a better way forward. Here’s how you might go about doing that when the situation is emotionally or ideologically charged...One of the first times I wrote about this was back in 2005, but not much has changed in the last eleven years. I have burned many pixels on this same subject, but the Great Liberal Smugness And Superiority Complex continues unabated. I read at least a half-dozen comments per day about "knuckle dragging Southern goobers" and the "leeching Red States" and the "cousin humping RWNJ" etc. If you try and engage any of these "liberals" in dialog, sooner or later it always comes back to "We kicked your ass in the Civil War" and Lincoln "should have executed all the traitors," "burned the South to the ground" and "salted the earth." Doesn't that just give everyone a nice warm and fuzzy? I want to convert the RWNJ and it can be done, but the invective has to stop. No one will ever come around to your point of view if you can never get them to listen to you because you are insulting them with every word you say.
I realize that it is hard to believe for some people, but your every word is not Holy Writ, and people are entitled to differing viewpoints, even if yours is the right one. I know far more RWNJs than you do. I am confident in that assertion because of where I was born, raised, and currently live. Nearly all of them are kind, decent people who are just trying to make their way through a world drowning in Hate Radio and Fox News, institutions they were taught to trust as children and are only now realizing that they have become propaganda machines. Give them a break. Extend a hand. With a smile, not a sneer.